Mastercard, BitOasis Roll Out Crypto-Linked Cards in the MENA Region

Payment giant Mastercard has inked a deal with Middle East-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis to establish a series of crypto card programs aimed at boosting daily cryptocurrency usage in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, according to local media outlet Khaleej Times. 

Through the strategic partnership, BitOasis users will have the chance to easily pay and shop by converting their crypto holdings to fiat at more than 90 million worldwide merchant outlets. 

 

As a result, the cumbersome tag pegged on cashouts and crypto payments will be eliminated because BitOasis users will undertake transactions in fiat. Per the report:

“BitOasis customer transactions will be enabled to take place in Fiat currency, thereby adding consumer protection – such as provisions for dispute resolution and refunds – which doesn’t exist today when paying with a digital asset.”

Therefore, the partnership intends to address crypto pain points and enhance awareness and adoption in the MENA region. 

 

Amnah Ajmal, Mastercard’s Executive VP for Market Development, MEA, pointed out:

“Through our collaboration with BitOasis, one of the most innovative crypto platforms in MENA, we enable the consumer experience to be seamless by using their cryptocurrencies in a safe and secure environment.”

She added that changing consumer demand was necessitating the crypto payment route.

 

On her part, Ola Doudin deemed the collaboration as a new digital financial system era where transparency, inclusivity, relevance, and regulation would be incorporated on a daily basis.

 

The CEO and co-founder of BitOasis added:

“We continue to witness sustained demand amongst our customers for crypto to be integrated into, and relevant, for their daily lives. Research tells us that 47% of the Middle East population now believe crypto is the future of money.”

The first bunch of BitOasis cards will be released in early 2023 in line with regulatory approvals. 

 

Meanwhile, a paradigm shift is happening in the Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE), because the region’s interests are changing from oil to crypto and metaverse, among other blockchain innovations, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Bitoasis Layoffs 5% Workforce as Bear Market Concern Grows

United Arab Emirates-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis announced on Sunday that it has laid off nine employees as part of its cost-cutting plan.

Ola Doudin, the CEO of Middle East-focused crypto exchange BitOasis, commented: “Earlier this week, nine employees were made redundant across offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Amman.”

The firm stated that the job cut represented about 5% of the company’s workforce.

Founded in Dubai in 2015, BitOasis has continued to serve English and Arabic-speaking users in the Gulf region.

In 2021, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the UAE Central Bank approved BitOasis to operate a Multilateral Trading Facility at the Abu Dhabi Global Market – an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates – and was registered as a Virtual Asset Service Provider. The firm is the leading Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) by traded volume in the UAE.

In March this year, BitOasis obtained provisional approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority to operate its business.

BitOasis has become the latest firm in the sector to announce massive layoffs amid the ongoing downturn and market turmoil. In recent months, the job market has been rough, especially crypto firms have experienced many struggles to sail through a winter that has witnessed prices plunge drastically.

Overall economic inflation and staked Ethereum have contributed to the latest crash while lending platform Celsius Network pointed to have triggered the mess.

Last week on Monday, June 13, Bitcoin price dropped below $24,000, a harsh incident that prompted crypto firm Celsius to halt withdrawals and transfers. The woes facing Celsius contributed to more pain to a market that was already adversely affected after the collapse of the $60 billion stablecoin venture Terra. Celsius was an investor in Terra and was affected by the TerraUSD and Luna crash.

Last week saw a massive fall in crypto prices and fear among investors who started selling off their assets in masses.

The prices of major crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped by over 70% from their peak values. The total crypto market valuation plunged below $1 trillion, a massive drop from its peak valuation of over $3 trillion.

The recent crypto crash has led several firms to slash their payrolls, while a small few others are focusing on increasing their investments.

Last week, Coinbase announced that it was laying off 18% of its staff, which means the firm fired about 1,100 employees from full-time roles. Crypto firms like BlockFi, Robinhood, Crypto.com, and many others also recently announced significant layoffs.

The current job cuts envision another extended crypto dip and lead to fundamental shifts. A rebound could take several months or years.

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